Newly launched Data Room produces rapid information for decision-making – Director’s position now open for applications
To support evidence-based decision-making, a unit was established in Finland that is unique even by international standards. The Data Room, which has been granted funding for three years, is an independent unit of VATT Institute for Economic Research. It will work in close cooperation with Helsinki Graduate School of Economics GSE and Statistics Finland. Applications are now being received for the position of the Data Room’s director.
Image: Anustup Kundu
The aim of the cross-administrative Data Room is producing information rapidly to support decision-making in changing situations. The backdrop to the Data Room is Helsinki GSE’s Situation Room project in 2020–2021, which was initiated as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Situation Room analysed data concerning the consequences of COVID-19, for example to support decision-making on business subsidies granted during the pandemic.
The Data Room now supports decision-making across a broad front; its services can be used by the ministries, for instance, and it will open up opportunities for cooperation with such stakeholders as research institutes and universities. Examples of new, changing situations in the political environment include Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its consequences for businesses and consumers.
"The background to the Data Room’s establishment is a broad political consensus voiced in the parliamentary Commerce Committee’s statement on this matter. The Ministry of Finance was responsible for the preparations. The Data Room is an independent unit with its own appropriations. VATT's high-quality research and expert work will continue as before. The Data Room brings us a new form of operation”, Mikael Collan, VATT's Director General, explains the backdrop to the Data Room’s establishment.
In addition to VATT, partners play a key role in the Data Room’s work. Helsinki GSE contributes its expertise in economics and experiences of the Situation Room’s rapid operation, whereas Statistics Finland will compile high-quality register data sets and deliver them for the use of the Data Room staff.
"For example, we will be able to access and combine data held by the Tax Administration, the Social Insurance Institution and the Customs with a broad scope and in a fast-track process. All data processing will be based on law and take place in Statistics Finland's secure and audited remote access environment. This means that the data can be used with extremely high levels of information security. The Data Room will produce its reports in the role of an authority", Director General Collan describes the activities.
At the practical level, the Data Room's work will be organised around teams dealing with different themes. The business team is already up and running, and the team focusing on energy issues and the green transition is about to be launched. The Data Room’s work is coordinated by a steering group whose members represent central government ministries and agencies.
"We are now receiving applications for the position of the Data Room’s director. The director is a key figure in Data Room’s operative management. This will be a post of exceptional significance for evidence-based decision-making in the public sector. It offers an opportunity to develop completely new kinds of activities", says Mikael Collan, Director-General of VATT, who would like to attract a broad selection of high-quality candidates for the new position.
Director General Mikael Collan/VATT (tel. +358 295 519 401 and e-mail [email protected])
Professor, Director Otto Toivanen/Helsinki GSE (tel. +358 50 353 7651 and e-mail: [email protected])
Deputy Director General Ville Vertanen/Statistics Finland (tel. +358 295 513 343 and e-mail: [email protected])
The Data Room:
The Data Room, which operates within VATT Institute for Economic Research, produces fast-paced studies in support of evidence-based decision-making. The Data Room works in close cooperation with Helsinki GSE and Statistics Finland. The unit was granted funding for three years by the Ministry of Finance for 2023–2025.